Thursday, 25 May 2017

Number of rough sleepers in London leaps 26%

The total number of rough sleepers in the capital rose by 26 per cent in the last two months from the same period the year before, according to government-endorsed figures.

Homelessness charity Broadway’s CHAIN bi-monthly report yesterday showed 1,920 people were sleeping rough in London in September and October this year.

The number of new rough sleepers in London went up 31 per cent in the same period compared with September and October 2011.

The proportion of people staying on the streets for a second night fell, with 725 (80 per cent) spending one night on the streets this year in the two months and 507 (74 per cent) spending one night on the streets in the same period last year.

This year in September and October, 17 per cent (150) of people slept rough for more than one night but did not go on to live on the streets, and 3 per cent were recorded as living on the streets.

In the same period last year, 22 per cent of rough sleepers spent more than one night on the streets and 5 per cent went on to live on the streets.

The number of long-term rough sleepers living on the streets has also gone up by 8 per cent from September and October last year to 390, and 12 per cent from the preceding period of July and August 2012.

The number of ‘intermittent’ rough sleepers, which are those who are not new and do not have enough contacts to be termed ‘living on the streets’, was 655. This had gone up 28 per cent from the same period last year, but was 3 per cent lower than the preceding period.

Of the 1,920 total this September and October, 47 per cent of the rough sleepers were considered new to the streets, 34 per cent intermittent rough sleepers and 20 per cent were living on the streets.

Charles Fraser, chief executive of St Mungo’s, said: ‘It is extremely worrying that the trend of yet more people rough sleeping is continuing in the wrong direction.

‘We can focus on the numbers but the truth is that these are individuals who have each reached a point where they did not know where to turn.

‘No one should end up sleeping rough. Local authorities urgently need to get better at preventing homelessness as, without effective support, people don’t know where to go for help to keep a roof over their head.”

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